名前 (=namae) : Name Related Lesson

October 22, 2014 in Beginners, Japanese culture


namae1

「お名前は?」

= Onamae wa?

= What is your name?

「モコで〜す!」

= Moko deesu!

= I’m Moko!


Hi everyone!

元気でしたか? ( = Genki deshitaka? ) How have you been?

Today’s lesson is about “names” in Japanese.

We have a cute toy poodle guest teacher, モコ先生 (= Moko-Sensei)  !CHECKHEART!

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Hello, I am Moko!  I am your Japanese teacher for today!

My mom, Tomoko, also teaches Japanese on Youtube.

So please subscribe to her. She is a lot of fun and really 元気 (=genki) energetic !

OK, let’s get started!

Today I’ll be teaching you “name related” Japanese.

Name in Japanese is 名前 (=namae).

I bet one of the first phrases you learned when you first start learning Japanese was,

:rrrr: “What is your name?”

:u:

Ex. あなたのお名前はなんですか?

= Anata no onamae wa nan desuka?

or

Ex. あなたのお名前はなんと言いますか?

= Anata no onamae wa nan to ii masu ka?

They are correct and nobody would correct you but as I explained in my lesson  (Is it OK to use あなた(=anata)?) , there are cases you want to avoid using あなた(=anata) to superior people.

You can simply omit あなた (=anata)

Ex. お名前はなんですか?

= Onamae wa nan desuka?

Ex. お名前はなんと言いますか?

= Onamae wa nan to ii masu ka?

 

Or  just say,

Ex. お名前は?

= Onamae wa?

= Your name?

(Polite)

Ex.  お名前を教えて頂けますか?

= Onamae wo oshiete itadakemasu ka?

= May I ask your name please?

Ex. お名前をお聞きしてもいいですか?

= Onamae wo okiki shite mo ii desuka?

= May I ask your name please?

(Very polite)

Ex. お名前をお教え頂けますか?

= Onamae wo ooshie itadakemasu ka?

= May I have your name, please.

Ex. お名前をお伺いしてもよろしいでしょうか?

= Onamae wo oukagai shitemo yoroshii de shou ka?

= May I ask your name?

Ex. お名前をお聞かせ願えますか?

= Onamae wo okikase negaemasu ka?

= Could you please give me your name, please.

Note: Just for your reference but you may hear people say:

Ex. お名前を頂けますか?

= Onamae wo itadakemasuka?

= May I have your name, please?

Ex.お名前を頂戴できますか?

= Onamae wo choudai dekimasuka?

= May I have your name, please?

These expressions are especially common in business situations,  over the counter or phone. They are actually listed in some business manner instruction manuals but some language experts say they are not proper expressions

because  you can not actually  頂く(=itadaku) /頂戴する(=choudai suru) “receive/have” people’s name.

(Casual)

Ex.  名前 (を) 教えてくれる?

= Namae (wo) oshiete kureru?

= Can you tell me your name?

Ex.  名前(を)聞いてもいい?

= Namae (wo) kiite mo ii?

= Can I ask your name?

(Very casual)

Ex.  名前なんていうの?

= Namae nante iu no?

= What is your name?

Ex.  名前は?

= Namae wa?

= Your name?

:i: The order of Japanese name:

When you write/say your name, the order will be

1) family name + 2)  first name

1) family name =  (=sei ),名字/苗字 (=myouji )  

2) first name = 名前 (=namae )

:rrrr: 姓名=seimei = family name and first name/ full name

You will see this on official forms where you have to fill in your name,

:rrrr: 氏名 (= shimei )

(= shi )  means one’s  family name and (= mei / na) means one’s  first name

 

Since 名前 (=namae ) means both one’s full name and first name, some people get confused.

So in order to make it clear, we sometimes distinguish them saying: 

*上の名前 = ue no namae = (the literal meaning is upper name) family name

*下の名前 = shita no namae  = (the literal meaning: bottom name) first name

because when we write our name vertically, family names goes on top and the first name goes in the lower position.

See this typical Japanese name below?

:u:

The first two letters  佐藤 (= Satou) is a family name and the third and fourth letters 恵子 (=Keiko) is a first name.

 

SATOU

 

Ex. 上のお名前を教えて下さい。

= Ue no onamae wo oshiete kudasai.

= Could you tell me your family name?

:rrrr: 佐藤です。

= Satou desu.

= It’s Sato.

Ex. 下のお名前を教えて頂けますか?

= Shita no onamae wo oshiete itadakemasu ka?

= Could you tell me your first name?

:rrrr: 恵子です。

= Keiko desu.

= It’s Keiko.

When you want one’s full name, (名字 / 苗字 ( = myouji) and 名前 ( = namae) ) you can use the katakana word:

Ex. フルネームを教えてください。

= Furuneemu wo oshiete kudasai.

= May I ask your full name?

Ex. フルネームでお願いします。

= Furu neemu de onegai shimasu.

= Please fill in your full name.

  :qq: Typical conversation :

(Polite)

Ex. A: 「失礼ですが、お名前をお伺いしてもよろしいでしょうか?」

= Shitsurei desu ga Onamae wo oukagai shite mo yoroshii deshouka?

= Excuse me.  May I have your name, please.

B :「谷口です。」

= Taniguchi

= Taniguchi.

A : 「下のお名前もお聞かせ願えますか?」

= Shita no onamae mo okikase negaemasu ka?

= May I also have your first name, please?

B : 「健太です。」

= Kenta desu.

= It’s Kenta.

A : 「いいお名前ですね。」

= Ii onamae desune.

= That’s a good name.

(Casual)

Ex. 「名前聞いてもいい?」

= Namae kiite mo ii?

= Can I ask your name?

Ex. 「谷口だよ。」

= Taniguchi.

= It’s Taniguchi.

Ex. 「下の名前は (なんていうの?)?」

= Shita no namae wa (nante iu no) ?

= What about your first name?

Ex. 「健太」

= Kenta

= Kenta

***********

When you hear people’s names, you usually ask what kind of kanji except very common names such as  鈴木 (=Suzuki) , 加藤 (= Katou)  山田 (=Yamada)

Ex. 「お名前はどう書きますか?」

= Onamae wa dou kakimasuka?

= How do you write your name?

Ex. 「どういう字を書きますか?」

= Douiu ji wo kakimasu ka?

= What kanji do you use?

Ex. 「(お名前の) 漢字を教えて頂けますか?」

= (Onamae no)  kanji wo oshiete itadakemasu ka?

= Could you tell me what kanji you use for your name?

 

***********
When we tell people what kanji we use, we usually give the most common words.

Ex. 「”健康”の”健”に”太い”で”健太”です。」

= “Kenkou” no “ken” ni “futoi” de “Kenta” desu.

= 健 (=ken) from “健康 (=kenkou) health” with “太い” “fat/thick” So 健太 (=Kenta)

Ex. 「奈良」の「奈」、「保険」の「保」で奈保(なほ )と書きます。

= “Nara” no “na”, “hoken” no “ho” de “Naho” to kakimasu.

= Naho,  “Na” from “Nara” and “Ho” from “hoken (=insurance)”  

Or give them the radical of the kanji.

Ex. ごんべんに成功の成と書きます。

= “Gonben” ni “seikou” no “sei” to kakimasu.

= With “gonben” and 成 (=sei) from 成功 ( = seikou = success)

* Gonben “” (a radical which you write on the left side)

 If it is written in hiragana,

Ex. 平仮名で「ゆかり」と書きます。

= Hiragana de “Yukari” to kakimasu.

= Yukari is in hiragana.

*********

When you write your name in document,  you usually see this format.

  :u:

* 氏名 (=shimei ) full name

* 名字 (=myouji ) family name   * 名前 (=namae ) first name

* かな/仮名 (=kana ) (to type in hiragana or katakana)

You also type your foreign name in かな (=kana)

:rrrr: Ex. Maggieマギー

!star! How to name one’s name

to name someone in Japanese

* 名前を付ける= namae wo tsukeru

* 名付ける= nazukeru

* 命名する= meimei suru

*********************

There is a saying in Japanese

名は体を表す

= Na wa tai wo arawsu

= Names represent who you are.

So name is very important for one’s life.

Every kanji has its own meaning.

When parents think of their children’s names, many of them pick the name with the the kanji with a meaning that represents how they want their child to grow up.

For example if the parents want their child to be a very sweet person,

:rrrr: (=yuu)

lovely girl,

:rrrr: (=ai ) love,

beautiful girl,

:rrrr: (=mi ) beauty , (=ka ) flowers,

and more vigorous kanji for boys, such as 剛 (=gou/tsuyoshi) strength, 勇 (=yuu/ Isamu) brave .

********************

We can usually tell people’s gender by their first name.

boucingheart! Girl’s names:

Traditionally girls name ends with (=ko )

:rrrr: 雅子 (=Masako ), 典子 (=Noriko ), 美紀子  (=Mikiko ), etc.

* 〜美  (=mi ), (=mi) , (=e ), (=e )

:rrrr:  和美 (=Kazumi ), 恵美 (=Emi ), 良江 (=Yoshie ), etc.

Note: There are some male names with the kanji as well.

〜菜 (=na ),  (=na )

:rrrr: Ex. 明菜 (=akina), 礼奈 (=reina )

〜 香 (=ka ),  (=ka ) etc.

:rrrr: Ex.  静香 (=Shizuka ), 梨花(=Rinka)

〜穂 (=ho ), (=ho )

:rrrr: Ex.  奈穂 (=Noho ) / 美保 (=Miho ), etc.

  boucingheart! Boy’s names:

* 〜男  (=o)/    (=o ),    (=rou ), ( = hiko )

:rrrr: Ex.  一雄(=kazuo ), 義男(=yoshio ). 太郎 (=tarou ), 一郎 (=Ichirou )*, 和彦 (=kazuhiko )

*~介 (=suke )/ (=suke ), (=tai ) fat, thick, (=hei ), (=shi/ji ), (=saku ), (=nari )/   (=nari/ki ) etc

:rrrr:Ex. 大介/ 大輔(=Daisuka), 幸太 (=kouta ), 浩平 (=Kouhei )/ 淳平 (=Junpei ),浩司 (=Kouji ),  etc.

:ee: Note:

1) A little old fashioned but some parents name their children by the order in which they were born 

:rrrr: 一郎 (=Ichirou )、二郎次郎 (=Jirou )、三郎 (=Saburou )

or by the season they were born in

:rrrr: spring 春子 (=Haruko )、summer夏子 (=Natsuko )、fall秋子 (=Akiko )、winter冬子 (=Fuyuko )

2) People’s first names don’t have to be all kanji. There are a lot of names that are just hiragana.

:rrrr: さゆり (=Sayuri ),  まり (=Mari ), かおり(=Kaori)

!yflower! Cultural note 1)

A lot of parents consults 姓名判断 (=seimeihandan ) fortune-telling based on the number of strokes required to write a name in kanji,  numerology of name
Some consult professional fortune-tellers and some people do it themselves by checking 字画 ( = jikaku ) , the number of strokes to write each kanji.
According to the numerology of name, if your name has a “bad” number of total strokes of kanji, 字画が悪い(=jikaku ga warui ), it affects their personality or destiny so that  they change their name or children’s name.
This often happens especially when women get married and change their family names to their husband’s family name.
Compared to changing your family name,

:r:

改名する= kaimei suru = to change one’s name

There are also a lot of sites to help people find names for their children.

We even have an app to check the 字画 ( = jikaku ) , the number of strokes to write each kanji or help decide naming our babies.

If it is too complicated to re-register your name officially,  you can just use different  kanji or hiragana for your name in your daily life  and use your true name just when you write official documents.

So these are the most popular names for children in 2014

:u:

Girls
 
Boys

There has been a trend to name your children International names which should work both in Japan and western countries.

Ex. (=ken ) Ken , (=jou ) Joe , かれん/ (=Karen ) Karen, 理沙 (=Risa ) Lisa, etc.

As you can see, naming children is getting more and more creative.

Even if they use kanji, some names have totally different ways of reading them. This is called 当て字 (= ateji )

Ex. 宇宙

The real way to read this word is うちゅう (= uchuu) which means universe but they want him to call こすも/コスモ ( = Kosumo) coming from an English word, “Cosmos”

So if you don’t know how to read, just ask,

(Polite)

「お名前、どうお読みしたらいいですか?」

= Onamae, dou oyomi shitara ii desu ka?

= How should I read your name?

(Casual)

「名前、どうやって読んだらいい?」

= Namae, douyatte yondara ii?

= How should I read your name?

:k: Cultural note 2 :

In Japan a married couple has to choose one family name.

Ex. 塩田宏 = Shiota Hiroshi (husband ) x  神田実香 (=Kanda Mika )  (wife )

:rrrr: You can keep just one family name.  Either 塩田 (=Shiota ) or 神田 (=Kanda )

Though many women still choose their husband family name but if husband decides to abandon his family name, he is called 婿養子(=Muko

youshi ), son-in-law taken into his wife’s family. Generally speaking, if you are the only child and your parents want to keep their family name,

you just have to ask your husband and his family to betaken into your family. But this may cause some conflicts especially when your husband

is the only child as well.

Also a lot of women feel it is disadvantageous to have a new family name for business or other reason, they keep using 旧姓 (= kyuusei) old family

name/ their original family name.

So the Legislative Council has proposed the draft amendment for a new  new system called 夫婦別姓 ( = fuufu bessei) / 夫婦別氏 ( = fuufu besshi) selective separate surname systems for married couples where a married couple can have separate family names.

So we’ll see.

:ee: The name in Japanese is 名前 (=namae ) but when we use it with other noun, we say

:rrrr:   something + (=mei/myou)

* 地名 = chimei = the name of the place

* 国名= kokumei = the name of the country

* 学校名 = gakkoumei = the name of the school

* 会社名 = kaishamei = the name of the company

* 商品名 = shouhinmei = the name of the product

* ユーザー名 = yuuzaa mei = user name

:w: Other name related words:

* 本名 = honmyou = one’s real name

* 実名 = jitsumei = one’s real name, true name

* 別名 = betsumei = alias

* 旧姓 = kyuusei = original family name, maiden name

芸名=geimei = screen name, stage name

* 偽名=gimei = false name

* 渾名= あだ名=adana = nickname  (We also say ニックネーム= Nikkuneimu)

* 匿名 = tokumei = anonymity

Ex. 匿名希望 = tokumei kibou = Name withheld by request

* 宛名 = atena = the name or address to send a letter or package

* 同姓同名= dousei doumei = the same first and last names.

Ex. 彼と私は同姓同名だ。

= Kare to watashi wa dousei doumei da.

= He and I have the same first and last names.

これで私のレッスンを終わります。読んでくれてありがとう!

= Kore de watashi no ressun wo owarimasu. Yonde kurete arigatou.

= So that’s my lesson.  Thank you so much for reading!

maggie-senseiマギー先生より = Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei

モコ先生、ありがとう!

= Moko sensei, arigatou!

= Thank you, Moko Sensei!

みんなの名前には何か意味がありますか?

= Minna no namae niwa nani ka imi ga arimasu ka?

= Do you have any meaning of your names?

日本語の名前をつけるのだったらどんな名前がいい?

= Nihongo no namae wo tsukeru no dattara donna namae ga ii?

= If you named yourself a Japanese name, what kind of name would you chose?